Brain fog (also called fibro-fog or cognitive dysfunction) is one of the most common complaints of people with fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). For many, it can have such a big impact on their lives as pain, or fatigue. In fact, some people say that brain fog is the most disabling of their physical symptoms. What causes mental confusion? We still don’t know exactly what causes cognitive dysfunction in these conditions, but we have many theories about possible contributing factors, which include: • Lack of restful sleep •
Abnormal volume or flow of blood from the skull • Brain abnormalities • Premature aging of the brain • Mental distraction due to pain In FM, brain fog, in general, is greater when the pain worsens. In both FM and CFS, it can get worse when you are anxious, in a hurry or face emotional overload. Depression , which is common in FM and CFS, is also associated with fibro-fog. However, some studies show that the severity of brain fog does not correlate with the symptoms of depression. Many common medications for FM and CFS can also contribute to brain fog. Brain symptoms of fibro-fog: •
Symptoms of mental confusion may vary from mild to severe. • They often vary from day to day, and not all patients have them all. Symptoms include: Use of words and memory: •
Difficulty remembering familiar words, using incorrect words, remember names slowly. Short-term memory problems: •
Forgotten, inability to remember what you have read or heard.
Spatial disorientation: by not recognizing a family environment, it is easily lost, has trouble remembering where things are. Difficulties in multitasking: •
Inability to pay attention to more than one thing, forgetting the original task when distracted.
Confusion and difficulty concentrating, information processing problems are easily distracted. Mathematics / difficulties with numbers: •
Difficulty performing simple mathematical operations, remembering sequences, transposition numbers, problems remembering numbers.